Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Obesity - the last discrimination


The journal Cancer has published a review that found obese, white women are less likely than other women to undergo regular screenings for breast and cervical cancer. Obese women were 10-40% less likely to undergo these screening tests when compared to other women.

We can only speculate why this is so. One theory is that heavier women have emotional barriers such as embarrassment and fear of being weighed. There might also be fat bias from physicians. It is difficult to perform good pap tests on larger women and some Doctors, like others in society, may see obesity as a sign of someone who just doesn't care for their own health.

Obesity and lower economic status also go hand in hand. Perhaps these women are uninsured and have minimal access to screening programs.

Lets be honest, there is definite "fat" discrimination in our society. Despite the fact that obesity is an ever growing problem, it is still seen as a moral or laziness issue. Fat people can be discriminated against by restaurants (less desirable seating) , jobs (you'll never prove it), merchants (that disdainful look from the clerk) and even health workers (gowns that don't fit, scales that don't weigh enough, chairs that are too tiny, tables that are too narrow, screening tests that don't get done).

Obesity may be the last permissible discrimination in our society.

15 comments:

Rich said...

Sadly, I think you are right.

Anonymous said...

I am overweight and trying desperately to loose. Believe me, there is a lot of discrimination out there. People stare at me if I am eating. I am ignored in lines. I do not go to the doctor because I do not want him to weigh me. I do feel he thinks it is a moral lapse. My imagination? Maybe but you are correct, Dr. T.

Anonymous said...

To anon: I have worked for doctors in a multi-speciality clinic and wanted you to know I have seen doctors trying to lose from being over weight as well. One thing I did see that was encouraging was a diet group called HIM, that was a program to lose weight with classes teaching about nutrition, exercise, and selling certain diet foods to eat during the planned length of the program. It is monitoreed by physicians to make sure it is done in a healthy way and there is support from other people in the same situation. I do not work for them but have seen great progress in the people that come and go in the shared office area. Not sure if any of these kind of programs are covered by insurance or not. If you asked your doctor coud he see you with out weighing you to get whatever health things you might want taken care of to work with helping you reach your health goals?
I agree it is sad not to get the right help and encouragement if you are trying to lose and want to find a way to see results. Good luck, keep trying.

BPD in OKC said...

I'm overweight and also desperately trying to lose weight. I think there's a lot of discrimination against overweight people.

I had lost over 100 pounds and weight 145. (I've gained most of it back unfortunately). I found that when I was skinnier, the world treated me better overall.

Maribeth cnm said...

So let the message be... healthcare providers - be BETTER than others. Strive to be fat-sensitive, it's as important as being culturally competent. Be a professional.

c gordon said...

I agree- obese people face discrimination. So do Christians. In our tolerant society, it seems okay to poke fun of these two groups while all the PC police nod in appreciation..

Anonymous said...

i think it is funny that people let themselves get that overweight..

Anonymous said...

I hate fat people, kill them all and use them for fuel

Anonymous said...

i think that a lot of people are not aware of the fact that people that are completely healthy and slim in their youth, can get fat over time through dieting..it is this obsession of being slim, created by the media and fashion industry, the amount of unhealthy foods that are on the shelves of our supermarkets, the junk food restaurants, all you can eat buffets , etc.that can make us fat.
I have once asked a very fat lady how she got fat, she told me she had been a trapeze artist and could not continue her profession, then she got fat..there are a lot of people that have gone fat because they have stopped to exercise the way they did before, and they enter a vicious circle..i would like slim people, that have always been slim, to try to go on one of these diets that are suggested for fat people, they may not like it at all, unfortunately many people discriminate fat people and think they are fat slobs. Some are, but most are not, in fact, i know of fat people that eat less than a normal person, maybe they just lack information about what to do to lose that weight, in order to lose weight you need to increase your metabolism and eat at least 5 times a day, then you need to work out, but mainly in the water until your bones and joints can carry your weight without being injured..how many people do not have the guts to go to a public pool when they are obese? I guess many, and we should encourage and help fat people and NOT discriminate them. The one that discriminates a fat person could one day also be fat, menopause, hormone problems, diabetes etc. or cortisone treatments can cause that..be aware, one day you could be fat, and then what? will you hate yourself? just think about that....

Anonymous said...

Great post. Obesity is definitely the last bastion of open discrimination left in society. I've been on both sides of it, slim and fat, and I've seen the differences in how people treat one based on weight. People can be extraordinarily rude and insensitive to overweight people.

The thing that strikes me is how people seem to think another person's weight is a direct affront to them, like they're personally offended by your weight. Seemingly any other personality flaw is excusable, but not obesity. People need to realize that another person's weight is not their business and that they should worry about fixing their own problems before they seek to cast criticisms at others.

Anonymous said...

dont feel bad if you are fat, you know want thing there is a solution to your problem, well is not a problem is a goal that you want to lose weight. I say that we shouldn't discriminate people because we are all the same in a way. We can be fat, skinny like me or have a great body. We all have problems, we all try to solve them.... people who are overweight are not different they are the same...maybe they are better than us. We dont they have some talent.... Why jugde people....if we judge people they are also going to judge us, no matter who they are...if we start to jugde those people who the hell we are...because we also look bad in our on ways when we look at the mirrow.. If you want to lose weight just do it day by day. Try to keep working, not let other people let you down just because they tell you that you ..... this and that. Dont!!!

Invertir en oro said...

I think it's important that we all know a little about this subject so interesting, I think it's part of human culture tell us about such things.
Invertir en petroleo

cheap viagra said...

I think this is art, I don't know why people laugh of people who have obesity, because I consider that's the best representation of beauty.m10m

contactos en barcelona said...

Quite worthwhile info, much thanks for the post.

www.natalia.biz said...

This can't truly have success, I feel this way.